Happy Ending

procrastinateMy 27th Year in bullet points:

  • Spent a rain-soaked birthday evening at Liz and Adam’s eating fried chicken and watching Mad Men. The thing I remember most is walking a mile in the rain, bag of heavy cookbooks in one hand and KFC bucket in the other, an ominous feeling in my heart. “This year is not starting off on a good note.”
  • November 19: Got the call, lost my job
  • Thanksgiving: Rented a car, drove home (LI) with my newly adopted dog for an extra-long holiday, trying not to think that I’m going back to NY a failure.
  • Christmas: Another week at home. No money for presents. Realize that my parents have fallen in love with the dog, a pleasant surprise.
  • New Years: Vic, Little, Amanda, Melissa fly in from LA. Melissa gets too drunk to go out. New Years at “The Raven,” the only bar without a cover in the neighborhood.
  • January, February, March: “This time of year is slow anyway,” the recruiters reassure me. “It’ll pick up.” I stare down hours of free time a day and click on an old file- my novel. It’s almost done. No time like the present, I guess.
  • March: I fly home for the weekend for my mom’s birthday. On St. Patrick’s Day, my niece Corinne is born. She’s seven months old now and everyone thinks she looks like me.
  • April: The book is done. I buy a sandwich at Starbucks to celebrate (hey, big spender).
  • May, June: Reworking book. Jenn reads it, my dad reads it.
  • Memorial Day weekend: St. Croix with my friends from Italy (Liz, Vic, Meg, and Rajul). We’ve got the beach to ourselves and for the rest of my life, I’ll remember five chairs lined up in the water.
  • 4th of July: Home, quiet. Try to ignore the fireworks.
  • July: Two weeks in NY/NJ. The dog knows the end of the 12 hour drive to NY now. He stands up in the backseat and whines impatiently as I pull up, a few blocks away from my parents, where my mother will reach down and hug him, even his hair will go all over her and their spotless house. My dad walks him in the morning. Everyone asks about this job I might get. Turns out, there is no job. Start writing new book.
  • August: A week with Habs and dinner at the most amazing restaurant I’ll ever go to in my whole life. Adam proposes to Liz at the Wisconsin State Fair (Habs spies on them from our seat in front of them on the SkyCab, peering at them from the reflection off her sunglasses.)
  • September: Start sending out book to agencies. 20 letters, 11 rejections so far. 100 pages into new book. The rejections get easier. You see your envelope, your stamp in the mailbox, you pull out the slip of paper, you read just one word. “Sorry.” You smile, shake your head and put it with the others. You move on. You keep writing. Somewhere in here, your best and oldest friend mails you a care package even though she’s in med school and in the middle of rounds. How did she find time to go to the post office, let alone bake cookies? A few more interviews, close but no cigar.
  • A call from Mom about Dad. “Prostate cancer.”
  • Home for a weekend before the surgery, too short. Back to Chicago, long fight with Mom on Monday. Make up with Mom on Monday night.
  • October: Had enough of the fickleness of marketing. Think about nursing school. Set up information sessions at UIC and Rush. Three interviews for marketing jobs in one week (like they could hear me or something. “Reel her back in!”)
  • Surgery went fine, in recovery. Home tonight hopefully.
  • Someone important said my writing in my novel is “superb.” It probably won’t go beyond that, but I’m taking that word into 28.
  • October 5: Got a job. Just in time.
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One Response to Happy Ending

  1. Hamble says:

    Wonderful news. I’m so glad for you. Your stoicism this year has been an inspiration.

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